Ethical Work Question

  • I have plans to go into business myself in the next few years, however I need a state issued license. There is a strong possibility that my current employer would pay for my training since the license is beneficial to the company. Should I pay for the training myself or have the company pay for it? I have worked 15 years for the company and the company would be getting some use from the license.

    What is your thoughts?

  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Making alliances is part of business. Whenever possible, enlist the experience of all whom may help you or offer help. Just don’t violate any unwritten rules about poaching customers from your former employer. Just make it your own and file for LLC. If you are a sole owner, you can have your accountant add this business to your personal taxes and avoid separate filing.

    Being and creating your own company is very satisfying. I currently own two companies for last 22 years. Much better than working for somebody else.

    Have the company pay it and enlist their support to your company…and reciprocate.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I am sure your integrity and honesty is known to your work colleagues and employers alike. Perhaps they would trust you not to do as IL says (poaching customers) and happily help with the cost of the licence. They might expect you to give them a few more years service in return.
    Good luck in your decision Worsham, whichever ever way you go.

  • I’ve always lived by “don’t burn any bridges if you don’t have to”, so at least leave on amicable terms.  I’ve never seen this more true than in regards to careers (you never know who may think of you in an open position, who is hiring, if you can rely on a reference, etc.).

    I’d say go for it since you want it anyway and if they don’t cover it then spend it out of pocket.  You’re not going to leave overnight, so depending on what they do it makes your move a little easier.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I don’t see any reason not to get your current employer to foot the bill for the license if they’re inclined to do so. Particularly if they’ll benefit from it before you leave or if plans change and you decide to stay.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    If I understand correctly the situation you’ve described, then there are two things to consider: 1) Whether or not you would tell your employer, when you ask him to fund your training, that you may leave one day to form your own company; and b) How long you would stay with your current employer after receiving your training so that he could benefit from his training investment.

    At one end of the ethics scale, I wouldn’t see a problem with a situation in which your employer was aware of your plans, or in which you weren’t planning to leave for several years, or – ideally – both of these situations were combined.  Completely at the opposite end of the ethics scale, I’d view as problematic a situation in which you kept your employer in the dark about your plans, used his money to get free training, then promptly left his company to start your own business as soon as you got licensed.  These two extreme scenarios are fairly clean-cut, but there’s lots of murky middle ground between them, chiefly based on how many months or years you’d be staying with the employer who had paid for your training.

  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I would inquire if your employer would be willing to help you get your license.  If they are willing, take them up on it.  Businesses have no qualms with firing you over lunch on Friday with no notice, so I have no problem using their benefits for my own advantage.

    However, no, it’s bad form to steal customers from your current employer after you leave.  If they come to you and ask you for services that’s a different story, but you cannot approach them morally.  (You can do so ethically, if you honestly believe you will provide a better service for them than your current employer.  Utilitarianism says greatest good for the greatest number.)

    I think of tuition reimbursement, medical, etcetera as payment for services rendered.  You have rendered services and they are offering to pay you with contingencies - the contingency is to get your license in this situation.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    There is a rule I live by in my industry.

    “Your success is my success, and my success is your success.”

    Invariably, both of you will benefit from this endeavor.

    Get your employer to pay for your training if they are willing.

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